Tag Archives: Media

Alternative American Media Universes/Progressive San Fran. Democrat Flushed

Excerpts from two opinion pieces at the NY Times (now aka “The Rainbow Lady”–or should that be “Person”? Full texts available at headline links):

1) The latter part of a column by the conservative regular at the “Sunday Review”):

2) The start of an opinion piece by the conservative regular in the weekday Times:

A sad, sorry state of democratic affairs. Related posts:

The Biden Presidency, or, Democrats Going over the Cliff? [featuring Maureen Dowd}

Biden No Longer One Nation’s President…

Democrats Forgot Their Donkeys

Mark Collins

Twitter: @mark3ds

The End of the Enlightenment, Part 2

Further to this post, brief excerpts from a piece by one of Canada’s finest journalists, my good friend Terry Glavin (tweets here):

When narrative replaces facts

The furor over my ‘The year of graves‘ feature illustrated perfectly what the piece was about

Terry Glavin

It was a 5,500-word reconstruction for the National Post of the sequence of media events and non-events that ran in tandem with and lit the fuses for last summer’s succession of statue topplings, national mourning ceremonies, opinion-page histrionics, riots, flag-lowerings, marches and church burnings.

It all started with a shocking report out of Kamloops to the effect that the Tk’emlúps te Secwe̓pemc had discovered a mass grave adjacent to the old Kamloops Indian Residential School — which the Tk’emlúps people did not find and did not claim to have found. It was like a shot heard round the world, and was followed by several globe-encircling front-page shockers involving “discoveries” of graves that were not in fact discovered, arising from claims the Indigenous leaders directly involved did not make, and announcements they did not announce…

We’re living at a time of deep epistemic crisis — the collapse of consensus about how to go about the work of determining what’s true and what isn’t. This is directly related to an increasing tendency across journalism, academia and government policy to conflate knowledge with belief. It’s a tendency that’s fatal to the functioning of liberal democracy…

More at Mr Glavin’s newsletter, The Real Story— very much worth a subscription, can do so at preceding link (I have one):

The decline of the west marches on, two posts:

Der Untergang des Abendlandes, for real

As the US Trumps and Cancels Itself back to the Middle Ages…

More and more minds are becoming increasingly medieval: unable to reason from agreed objective facts, believing in myths and mysteries, finding truth where we want to, subject to mass hysteria at all levels of society.

The sad realities of humanity’s oh so limited rationality.

Mark Collins

Twitter: @mark3ds

“Top Gun Maverick”: Tom Cruise is Flying the Wrong Fighter

An article at Aviation Week and Space Technology–their writers know their stuff:

The Weekly Debrief: Why The F-35 Should Have Been The Star Of The Top Gun Sequel

Top Gun: Maverick is—no spoiler!—a movie. And here are two things the Paramount blockbuster, which netted $151 million on its opening weekend, is not: a documentary, or a fictional account based on a true story. 

This seems obvious, but it’s important. The actors and director of the Top Gun sequel are in no way required to produce a realistic account of a strike mission. Their scriptwriters are, likewise, not obligated to constrain their characters to conventional tactics, or limit weapon systems to known specifications or even physics. 

For the sake of storytelling, your author prefers that they don’t, as long as any fictional conceits make the story more entertaining. By the subjective standards of this column, the Joseph Kosinki-directed sequel to the 1986 action film succeeds in ways that few follow-ups ever have.

All of that stated, it is time—and here come the spoilers, so you’re invited to stop reading if you care deeply about plot details yet missed opening weekend—to ruin a central premise of the plot of Top Gun: Maverick [emphasis added]

In an early, expository scene, Capt. Pete “Maverick” Mitchell, a semi-successful hypersonic test pilot who has been re-assigned to train a detachment of elite Fighter Weapons School graduates for a seemingly kamikaze strike mission, explains that only the Boeing F/A-18E/F is capable of hitting a target in a GPS-denied environment. As a result, he explicitly rules out the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II as an option for the mission. 

Unfortunately, it appears that Mitchell—er, Maverick—is not only foolish and dangerous (Iceman’s words, not mine): He’s also wrong. To borrow Maverick’s 2022 reply to a spiteful rear admiral: “Maybe so, sir. But not today.”

Maverick’s assessment of the F-35 was once correct. As filming of Top Gun: Maverick was beginning in 2018, the real stealth fighter was limited to an internal load-out of GPS-guided munitions. By November 2018, however, Lockheed Martin had integrated the Raytheon GBU-49 Enhanced Paveway II. 

This dual-mode, GPS- and laser-guided munition gave the F-35 the ability to strike moving or stationary targets in almost any situation. If an enemy successfully defeated the munition’s anti-jam technology for receiving the GPS signal, the pilot could still designate the target with a laser. The F-35 could have performed the mission. 

As Maverick is fond of saying, “If you think up there, you’re dead.” Likewise, if you think during a Hollywood movie account of air combat, you’re probably missing the point. 

If you do, however, you might wonder why supposedly elite Navy pilots are dispensing flares to defeat radar-guided missiles, why an enemy with at least three Su-57 fighters somehow relies on 60-year-old SA-3s for ground-based air defenses and why the same enemy did not think to harden their mountain hide-out against anything except an attack by a 30,000-lb, GBU-57 Massive Ordnance Penetrator. 

Despite some discrepancies in the details, Top Gun: Maverick highlights one of the biggest challenges in modern air combat. More than 30 years after Operation Desert Storm, GPS can no longer be relied on for accurate targeting by stand-off munitions. 

Next year, the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory plans to launch the Navigation Technology Satellite-3 into orbit, hoping to field a regional alternative to GPS guidance for munitions with greater resistance to enemy interference. Meanwhile, the Army’s Assured-Positioning, Navigation and Timing program is seeking to provide similar navigation support to dismounted soldiers. 

To quote one of the sequel’s less-heralded characters: “Put that in your Pentagon budget.” 

Steve Trimble

Steve covers military aviation, missiles and space for the Aviation Week Network, based in Washington DC.

Plus a good background story at the NY Times (just right-click on the headline below):

Mark Collins

Twitter: @mark3ds

PM Modi Likes Bollywood Blockbuster “The Kashmir Files”

Well he might, mighn’t he? Seems like fuel for Hindutva. First, a video at the Indian Economic Times:

PM Modi hails ‘The Kashmir Files’ movie, says ‘campaign being run to discredit the film’

Second, a review at the newspaper The Hindu:

‘The Kashmir Files’ movie review: A disturbing take which grips and gripes in turns

Anuj Kumar

March 14, 2022 15:15 IST

Updated: March 17, 2022 13:43 IST

Employing some facts, some half-truths, and plenty of distortions, Vivek Agnihotri propels an alternative view about the Kashmir issue, with the intent to not just provoke… but incite

Once upon a time, writer-director Vivek Agnihotri told us a  Hate Story; this week, he has etched yet another. Mounted like a revisionist docudrama, that tracks the tragic exodus of Kashmiri Pandits from their homeland in the 1990s,  The Kashmir Files is essentially a battle of narratives, where Agnihotri has determinedly sided with one version of the events. Employing some facts, some half-truths, and plenty of distortions, it propels an alternative view about the Kashmir issue, with the intent to not just provoke… but incite.

The Kashmiri Pandits’ pain is real and should be expressed in popular culture, but it deserved a more nuanced, more objective take rather than the ‘us vs them’ worldview that Agnihotri has propagated over 170 minutes. 

The film is based on the testimonies of the people scarred for generations by the insurgency in the State, and presents the tragic exodus as a full-scale genocide, akin to the Holocaust, that was deliberately kept away from the rest of India by the media, the ‘intellectual’ lobby and the government of the day because of their vested interests.

Agnihotri has improved upon the form he adopted in  The Tashkent Files where he presented his take on former Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri’s death through memories and flashbacks, with the narrative going back and forth in time. 

Here, Krishna (Darshan Kumar), a Kashmiri Pandit and student of a premier university, modelled on Jawaharlal Nehru University, has been tutored by his ‘liberal’ teacher Radhika Menon (Pallavi Joshi) into believing that the secessionist movement in Kashmir is akin to India’s Freedom Movement.

When Krishna’s grandfather Pushkar Nath (Anupam Kher) dies, he returns to Kashmir with his ashes and meets four of his grandfather’s friends who reveal the ‘real’ story of Kashmir to Krishna, and of course, the audience. In their narrative, Kashmir was faced with a clash of civilisations, and the Pandits were left to die by the State and the central government to appease one community. The villain of the piece is Bitta, who seems like a combination of real-life Ghulam Mohammad Dar alias Bitta Karate and Yasin Malik, the faces of terror outfit Jammu & Kashmir Liberation Front.

Unlike Vidhu Vinod Chopra’s films on the subject, Agnihotri has no time for romance in the Valley. It is more like a rejoinder to Vishal Bhardwaj’s  Haider, as the film tries to suggest that the Kashmiri Muslims deserved to suffer after what they did to the Pandits and other minorities.

A disturbing take, it grips and gripes in turns. The scenes of bloodshed, torture, and otherisation of Pandits have been filmed with brutal intensity. The camerawork captures the dark, brooding shades of the Valley and the performances are compelling. 

As the conscience keeper of the film, Kher is at his rhetorical best. Darshan is a revelation and it is good to see the gifted Pallavi back. Mithun Chakraborty, Prakash Belawadi, Puneet Issar, and Atul Shrivastava sound convincing, as friends of Pushkar Nath. 

However, the film that accuses the foreign press of milking choreographed unrest and clickbait headlines, gradually falls for the same alleged exploitative methods to reach out to tear ducts and arouse animosity. There is hardly any effort to understand what happens when a majority becomes the minority and vice versa. The voice of the moderate Muslim is conspicuous by its absence. The representation of the educated elite is shallow and towards the end borders on easy character assassination.

Some of the dialogues give hope that Agnihotri will address the complexity of the subject that hasn’t been addressed before, but once he starts peddling an agenda against a religion,  The Kashmir Files loses its objective, humanistic gaze. 

It does the same selective treatment of the period that it accuses the players in the ‘90s of.

Like most in the era of social media, Agnihotri looks at the past from the prism of today and a lot of dinner table discussions make it to the screenplay. There is no middle ground for him, as he picks and chooses instances from the past to suit his narrative. He talks of Sheikh Abdullah, but doesn’t mention the role played by Raja Hari Singh at the time of the accession of Kashmir to India. He also doesn’t talk about how the rigged ballot gave way to a bullet culture in Kashmir in the late 1980s.The film underplays the Pakistan-Afghanistan angle and puts the onus for perpetuating the insurgency on the local Muslim. In Agnihotri’s documentation, terror has a religion and it appears every Muslim in Kashmir has been a separatist and keen to convert Hindus to Islam. How the Dogra Kings ruled the State till 1947 is out of the syllabus here.

Of course, religious slogans were raised, and indeed Kashmir Pandits got caught in the crossfire between India and Pakistan, but the history is not as black and white as Agnihotri wants us to believe.

The names of Kashmiri legends and their contribution that Krishna invokes in the climactic speech are very much there in history books and oral tradition. If the makers got to know them during the research for the film, it is not fair to tell the audience that they have not been taught about the mystic Lalleshwari, the journey of Shankaracharya to Kashmir, and the intellectual capital of the State.

Talking selective use of facts, the film directly attacks Farooq Abdullah and Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, and indirectly holds Congress responsible for the exodus, but conveniently forgets to tell us that it was the National Front government that was in power in January 1990, when the alleged genocide took place, whose survival depended on the outside support of the Bharatiya Janta Party and the Left parties.

He has also conveniently forgotten the party, whose agenda he is consciously or inadvertently perpetuating, had formed the government with one of the regional parties which the films describe as nationalist in Delhi, communalist in Srinagar.

Curiously, the film talks of justice but doesn’t bring in the role of the judiciary, the legal battle of Pandits, and the fact that the real Bitta spent more than two decades in jail and after being out on bail, is once again behind the bars.

In the bid to distort, even the good old poetry of Faiz Ahmed Faiz is not spared. Written in 1979, Hum Dekhenge uses the metaphor of traditional Islamic imagery to subvert and challenge Pakistani General Zia Ul Haq’s fundamentalist interpretation of them. When he says “An-al-Haq” (I am truth), he comes close to the Advaita philosophy of Hinduism. The film subtly derides previous Prime Ministers like Atal Bihari Vajpayee for aiming to win the hearts of people. Perhaps, the makers believe in ruling only the landmass. 

The trailer for the movie:

Relevant posts:

India: The RSS, the Not-so Shadowy Body Behind PM Modi and the BJP’s Hindutva (Hindu Raj) Ideology

Whither Kashmir and its Muslims?

The Perils Facing the Remaining Hindus in Kashmir

Mark Collins

Twitter: @mark3ds

Globe and Mail Woke Headline of the Day

(Caption for image at top of the post: “More beauty business owners are making it a priority to offer services and treatments for gender-diverse individuals.bortonia /iStockPhoto / Getty Images”.)

Much as I have recommended the paper’s Saturday edition, its “Arts & Pursuits” (this piece is there) and “Opinion” sections unfortunately are gradually coming to resemble their equivalents in the now-relentlessly progressive NY Times. One hopes the Globe can keep a grip on this, er, progression. The headline and first paragraph:

How spas and salons have made degendering a priority

Caitlin Agnew [website here, attended the University of Toronto, where she completed her Hons. BA and MA in German Literature.”]

Anyone who’s had a great haircut knows that sitting in the salon chair can do more than just provide a superficial result. There’s also an uplifting, emotional benefit that can come with personal care services, especially when it comes to gender expression…

Follow us on Twitter: @globestyle

So who will get the straight razor neck and sideburns finishing touch now? I had that when twelve (no actual need), real thrill. Still love the feel, makes me go all tingly.

Mark Collins

Twitter: @mark3ds

Gorgeous Gerhard’s Embrace of Bad Vlad

Further to this post,

A Tale of Two Chancellors: Schröder’s and Merkel’s Addiction to Russian Natural Gas and Oil

a follow-up piece by the NY Times‘ Berlin bureau chief to a recent story of hers, note the first sentence after the authorship:

Two Interviews, No Regrets: Talking About Putin’s Russia With a Former German Chancellor

After Gerhard Schröder spoke to The Times, he could be kicked out of his party and cut off from some tax-financed perks he enjoys as former chancellor.

By Katrin Bennhold

The first thing you notice when you walk into the office of Gerhard Schröder is the striking abundance of pictures of Gerhard Schröder.

A large painting of a younger Schröder behind the desk. An even larger painting of an even younger Schröder next to the door. A black-and-white photo portrait. A stylized art print. A smattering of colorful cartoons featuring him as the fist-banging, swaggering, “basta”-shouting chancellor he once was.

I was writing an article about how Germany got hooked on Russian gas over the past two decades and wanted to speak to Mr. Schröder, the man who popped up nearly every step of the way: as German chancellor from 1998-2005, as a lobbyist for Russian-controlled energy companies since then and as the personal friend of President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia throughout.

Mr. Schröder had not talked to any media outlet since the war in Ukraine started — and with it, the almost universal outrage at his refusal to distance himself from Mr. Putin and resign from his lucrative positions for the gas pipeline operator Nord Stream and the Russian oil company Rosneft. But after weeks of back and forth, I was invited to meet him in his home city, Hanover, for our first conversation on April 11.

He and his wife greeted me in matching forest green pantsuits. I remarked on them.

“Coincidence,” the former chancellor grumbled.

“Green is the color of hope,” his (fifth) wife, Soyeon Schröder-Kim, beamed. She was a constant presence.

We sat down at the corner of a large glass table, a statue of former chancellor Willy Brandt — a Social Democrat like Mr. Schröder and the architect of Ostpolitik, Germany’s engagement policy toward the Soviet Union about half a century ago — watching over us.

From the start, it was clear that Mr. Schröder wanted to talk, to explain himself, to tell his country why he was right — and everyone else wrong — to resist calls to condemn Mr. Putin [emphasis added].

“I know you’re here to talk about the past,” he said, as he handed me a pile of notes about his recent, and fruitless, effort to mediate between Moscow and Kyiv. “But I’d also like to talk about the present.”

So we talked. I was allowed to record. And I was surprised by how frankly Mr. Schröder spoke.Unlike many German politicians, he readily accepted the ground rules of The New York Times: He would not get to “authorize” any quotes before publication. Since we spoke German throughout, I offered to show him my English translations — his wife, a trained translator, had expressed concerns about “translation mistakes” — but I also made clear that we would not accept edits that altered the meaning of the quote.

None were asked for.

Three days after our first conversation, I returned to Hanover with the photographer Laetitia Vancon. We had another conversation, which ended with a lunch of seasonal asparagus and two bottles of white wine. (His wife brought out one but he demanded a second — we were four people after all.)

Why The New York Times?” I asked him at one point, curious why he had not picked a German newspaper to break his silence.

“The New York Times admitted that it was wrong over the Iraq war; I respect that [emphasis added],” he told me and smiled. The implication was clear: He had been right, famously keeping Germany out of the war. (In a 2004 assessment of the publication’s reporting on the lead-up to, and the early stages of, the Iraq War, Times editors found a number of instances of coverage that was not as rigorous as it should have been.)

So if it was right to admit past mistakes, was there anything he had gotten wrong over Russia?

“No,” he said defiantly [emphasis added], insisting that on energy, Russian and German interests were aligned.

But, I pressed him: His good friend Vladimir had started a war and was accused of ordering war crimes. How did that feel? Did it feel right to stay loyal to him?

It was the only time he got annoyed.

“We’re not doing a psychologizing interview here,” he said, raising his voice. “Then we’ll leave it there.”

I shifted the conversation back to the war, which he condemned but also qualified.

“We have this situation, which I have to say is not just one-sided,” he said.

I had heard this a lot in Germany — “it’s not one-sided” — not least among my own parents’ friends. The idea that NATO had been cornering Russia after the reunification of Germany and Europe was not all that uncommon in Germany before the war.

Even now, with fighting raging, some of Mr. Schröder’s views, about the need to give Mr. Putin a way to save face, are openly voiced [emphasis added]. My ophthalmologist recently told me, “Let’s give him what he needs, for God’s sake, so we can end this war.”

Germany’s relationship with Russia is complicated, rooted both in centuries of cultural exchange and a traumatic history of war, which contributed to a Russia policy that has alternately been described as romantic blindness or open-eyed appeasement.

In Mr. Schröder’s office, prominently framed, is a birthday letter from the revered former chancellor Helmut Schmidt, another Social Democrat, dated April 4, 2014, less than two months after Russia’s annexation of Crimea, praising Mr. Schröder’s legacy as chancellor, not least for “demonstrating understanding of the needs of our powerful neighbor Russia.”

The day before my article came out, I had one last phone call with Mr. Schröder to run through some factual questions. Before we hung up, I told him that this would not be a puff piece.

“You can be critical as long as you’re fair,” he said.

When the article was published online on April 23, it was picked up by every major German news outlet. The reactions were swift.

“The interview in The New York Times is pretty disturbing and it has to have consequences,” said Hendrik Wüst, a conservative governor of Germany’s most populous state of North Rhine-Westphalia, urging the Social Democrats to kick the former chancellor out of their party.

The co-leader of the Social Democrats, Saskia Esken, called on Mr. Schröder to hand in his membership and said 14 local party chapters had filed for his expulsion. “Gerhard Schröder has been acting as a business man,” she said when asked about my interview. “We should stop thinking of him as an elder statesman, as a former chancellor.”

Politicians from across the political spectrum demanded that Mr. Schröder be put on the sanctions list and cut off from the tax-funded pension and perks former chancellors enjoy. (Only the far-right Alternative for Germany party applauded his defiance as “responsible and in the German interest.”)

I was inundated with messages. But I did not hear from Mr. Schröder until the day after the interview published. A WhatsApp message arrived from his wife with a polite request: “Could you send 2 copies to our office. In Hanover there is no Sunday edition of The NYT.”

Just another journalist with a major reporting function making it clear what her opinions are. Sigh.

Mark Collins

Twitter: @mark3ds

Elon Musk Taking over Twitter: Tesla and PRC Tweet of the Day

This is lovely:

Odds on the Chicoms putting pressure on Free Speech Elon over criticism of the PRC on Twitter?

And note this just over a year ago on Tesla in China:

More to take into account:

Mark Collins

Twitter: @Mark3ds

The Dragon’s Broad and Deep Reach vs Canada, plus PRC’s Pro-Russian Agitprop on Ukraine

Further to this post in December 2021 (spoiler alert: the answer is almost certainly “no”),

Did PM Trudeau Pay Heed to what Head of Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) said about PRC Interference in Canada?

Canada’s ambassador to the the PRC 2012-16, now retired from the foreign service, raises a whole lot of, er, red flags in a piece at the National Post:

Guy Saint-Jacques: Don’t trust what China is saying about Ukraine

Canadians must be wary of Chinese disinformation efforts to perpetuate Russian lies

The bloody conflict in Ukraine is yet again illustrating the pernicious way state actors use propaganda to shape public opinion. Canadians have learned to be wary of Russia’s disinformation about the war. Now we need to also be wary about China’s support for Russia’s falsehoods. China’s United Front Work Department is attempting to manage public opinion at home and abroad by blaming the conflict on the United States and NATO.

China has a vast, active propaganda machine. Its efforts to shape world opinion and distract from China’s human rights and freedom of speech abuses have increased significantly since Xi Jinping became General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party in November 2012.

That machine is hard at work here in Canada. For example, the Montreal Council on Foreign Relations invited Chinese Ambassador Cong Peiwu to speak in April 2021. Why would that invitation be extended, knowing that he would use the opportunity to spread Beijing’s disinformation? That’s exactly what he did by claiming that Canada’s “two Michaels” (Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig, who were jailed in China) were “secretly gathering state’s secrets and intelligence for foreign forces” when in fact they were hostages, arrested as leverage against Canada for the release of a detained Chinese executive, Meng Wanzhou.

Equally troubling are China’s attempts to influence Canadian elections. As the research agency Disinfowatch reported, “The Chinese government has repeatedly demonstrated its readiness to advance its interest in Canada by directly manipulating Canadian political debate and policy through the use of disinformation, threats, intimidation, and influence operations directed at Canadian diaspora groups .”

China also targets individual Canadians of Chinese origin with threats and intimidation tactics if they dare to criticize China’s conduct. Such interference activities, conducted by Chinese officials in Canada, have multiplied since Xi Jinping took power [emphasis added, note this post: “Group Led by Chinese-Canadians Warns of PRC’s Influence/Interference Activities in Canada“].

Seeing China at work in propaganda warfare on Russia’s side should be a chilling reminder here in Canada about how any information that originates from Chinese sources, both in the government and in the media, must be viewed with suspicion if not rejected outright.

The next likely example will be the trial of James (Jianhua) Xiao, a Chinese-born Canadian citizen who was abducted by Chinese government agents in Hong Kong in January 2017 and has been detained without charges ever since [emphasis added]. The speculative narrative coming out of China is that his company, Tomorrow Group, engaged in bribery and stock manipulation.

What is really at play is that Tomorrow Group became too successful, just like what happened to Alibaba founder Jack Ma, who disappeared for three months. However, it will likely be reported that Xiao has confessed to crimes, admitted guilt and expressed remorse for the damage caused by his actions. Canadians should take such admissions with a grain of salt, if not a whole bag of it.

It takes a very strong-willed individual to resist more than five years of the interrogation tactics used by Chinese security officials. The book published by Kevin and Julia Garratt, “Two Tears on the Window: An Ordinary Canadian Couple Disappears in China. A True Story,” outlines the long interrogation sessions and the incessant psychological pressure they were subjected to. Xiao is likely enduring something similar. Resulting show trial convictions are purely to serve the propaganda goals of the Chinese state, and bear no relation to justice.

Those propaganda goals now include support for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, according to The New York Times, which reported that China’s “diplomats and official journalists have become combatants in the informational war to legitimize Russia’s claims and discredit international concerns about what appear to be war crimes.”

Separately, The Financial Times reported that, “The internet platforms of tech giants in China are promoting content backing Russian president Vladimir Putin’s attack on Ukraine while suppressing posts that are sympathetic to Kyiv.” It added, “False reports of Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelenskyy fleeing Kyiv and Ukrainian troops surrendering were shared widely in China.”

In February, after Russia invaded Ukraine, Canadian cable television providers admirably cancelled the Russian government propaganda outlet RT America from their service packages. Given China’s support for Russia’s war, there is now a danger that the gap will be filled by Chinese government media, serving as a disinformation proxy for Russia.

Notably, the Chinese state-owned agency China International Communications Co. has Canadian TV news service privileges through Mandarin-language CCTV-4 and English language CGTN [emphasis added, see this post: “What is this CCP-Controlled Channel doing on Canadian Cable TV?]. The U.S. Department of Justice’s National Security Division required CGTN to register under “Foreign Agents Registration Act” in 2018 due to “clear attempts to influence political and public interests for the Chinese Communist Party and Chinese Government.”

Canadians should be very wary of what we hear and read from such services and from Chinese representatives, and we should think twice about giving China platforms that only enable Beijing to propagate its untruthful narratives.

Guy Saint-Jacques served as Canada’s ambassador to China from 2012 to 2016.

Relevant posts:

Globe and Mail to PM Justin Trudeau Gov’t: Time to Get Real about Foreign Interference, esp. by PRC (note UPDATE)

Little-Known Component of Canadian Intel Community Blows the Gaff on Organ of PRC/CCP Interference [UFWD]

Look, Ma! In the US They Arrest People for Interfering in Elections for the PRC

Mark Collins

Twitter: @mark3ds

Canadian Broadcasting Corp. Turning Up the Woke Dial, Highlights “non-binary Filipinos’ concerns about a lack of LGBT terms in Tagalog”

Mother Corpse (aka the CBC, our English public broadcaster) is rotting from the head down and the bottom up. Excerpts from an opinion piece at the Ottawa Sun:

Breaking down CBC’s obsession with race and diversity

Lorne Gunter

To give you an idea of how obsessed the CBC is with “diversity,” its staffers must complete a race-ethnicity-gender-orientation profile of everyone who appears on any of its news and current affairs shows – every expert, every panelist and guest commentator, even every passerby questioned in an on-the-street interview.

Back in January, former CBC producer Tara Henley [tweets here] wrote in the National Post that she resigned from the state broadcaster because, “To work at the CBC now is to accept the idea that race is the most significant thing about a person and that some races are more relevant to the public conversation than others.”

Henley explained that everyone working in a Mother Corp newsroom has to “fill out racial profile forms for every guest (they) book” and “to actively book more people of some races and less of others.”..

According to an access to information request from Blacklock’s Reporter, these Guest Sourcing Surveys are two pages long and mandatory for producers to compile on everyone who appears on the CBC main network or its all-news channel…

If a particular guest’s race, ethnicity or sexual orientation is not obvious, producers are not to ask the guest such personal information directly. Instead, they are directed to search Google or other public sources to find out what they can about a guest’s gender and ethnicity.

Producers are required to note whether interviewees appeared “biracial/multiracial.” And, according to Blacklock’s, in cases where the subject is obviously BIPOC (black, Indigenous or a person of colour), the corporation requests “additional details” such as whether they were African, Arab, Asian or First Nations versus Inuit and Métis.

…as Henley revealed in the Post, identifying race as the No. 1 feature of everyone appearing on the CBC has led to such distorted editorial priorities as stories focused on “non-binary Filipinos’ concerns about a lack of LGBT terms in Tagalog,” a common Filipino language, while “local issues of broad concern (to Canadians) go unreported [that must-make piece is here].”..

The CBC projects many different faces but very, very few different voices. Because of its obsession with race, the CBC’s diversity is only skin deep…

In its own way all these racial classifications makes Apartheid seem so simple with just native, coloured, Asian or white. Though of course the harsh effects of Apartheid were another thing entirely. But one does recall those days when fixing people in classification boxes was not considered a Good Thing. Sigh.

Another post based on a piece by Mr Gunter:

Our Alberta-Detesting Public Broadcaster, the CBC

Lorne Gunter of the Sun papers really sticks it to Mother Corpse (as I like to call the broadcaster that fewer and fewer non-francophones watch)–the organization really does seem to view its mission as projecting correct-thinking Toronto opinion to the Rest of Canada..

See also:

BIPOC, or, Has the Rest of Canada (ROC) Become a Mental Colony of the US?

Mark Collins

Twitter: @mark3ds

Ukraine and the Great Russians’ Increasingly Distinct Weltanschauung under Putin

From a piece by a fine columnist at the Globe and Mail:

The unintended effect of sanctions may be to fuel further Russian nationalism

Robyn Urback

Days before Russian President Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine, the Levada Center, an independent polling and research firm in Russia, surveyed respondents about who they viewed as the instigators of the conflict in eastern Ukraine. The overwhelming majority of respondents – 60 per cent – blamed the U.S. and NATO, followed by 16 per cent who blamed Ukraine, and 15 per cent who couldn’t say. Just 4 per cent of Russians polled believed that their own country – which had, by then, stationed tens of thousands of troops along the Ukrainian border – was responsible for the recent escalation. The proportion of Russians who blamed the U.S. and NATO was up from four months earlier, when 50 per cent of respondents saw the West as the main culprit.

The results were a measurable testament to the efficacy of state news propaganda, which had, particularly since the annexation of Crimea in 2014, coalesced around the theme of a nefarious type of 21st-century Western imperialism. That message has only intensified after Russia invaded Ukraine, with stories about the West sending mercenaries to fight among Ukrainian nationals and Europe mocking Russia’s claims of genocide in the Donbas dominating news headlines. An incredibly foolish tweet by U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham suggesting someone should “take out” Mr. Putin provided TV evening news fodder for days.

Whatever contrary views ordinary Russian citizens might have been able to access have evaporated in the days since the Kremlin shut down independent television channels such as TV Rain, and passed a law that makes spreading “fake news” about the Russian military punishable by up to 15 years in prison. Insulated from outside information and imbued with state propaganda, many Russians do not know or believe reports of what is actually happening in Ukraine.

The effects of the war on their daily lives, though, will soon be undeniable, if they aren’t already. Less than two weeks after Mr. Putin launched his unprovoked attack, Russia has become the most sanctioned country in the world. The ruble has lost about half of its value since the beginning of the year, and ordinary Russians have seen the value of their savings deplete in a matter of days…

Russian citizens are watching their country morph into a pariah on the world stage [not completely thus far, see this post : ‘Asia: Major Parts of the World Not Part of “International Community’s” Condemning Russia on Ukraine] – becoming evermore isolated economically, physically and socially – and it will be those ordinary people who will bear the brunt of the suffering caused by sanctions. The question is whether they will turn their ire inward at a regime that launched the war (which is still just a “special military operation” in the words of Russian news media), or whether these sanctions will only fuel the perception that the greatest threat to Russian stability really is the West.

There is scant evidence that sanctions alone stop wars, or lead to regime change, or pressure citizens to compel their leaders to shift course…

Those inclined to seek alternative media will understand that Russians are suffering because their autocratic leader launched an unprovoked attack on a sovereign nation. But those who won’t or can’t may simply double down in their belief in the need for “Fortress Russia.” For years, Mr. Putin has warned his citizens about the threat the West poses to his country. And now, through the crippling effect of sanctions and corporate exits, those warnings are seemingly coming to pass.

Related post (with “Theme music” at end):

Russia vs Ukraine, or, a Tale of Two National Orthodoxies (note UPDATE)

Mark Collins

Twitter: @mark3ds